VOL. XIII NO. 2 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM January 15, 1996
CLINTON CHURCH FEATURES SPONG, HOMOSEXUALS—Foundry United Methodist
Church, the Washington church President and Mrs. Clinton attend, last month
had a homosexuality symposium with Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong as
keynote speaker (12/25 Chr. News). It featured ridicule of the Christmas
Nativity story, speculation about Jesus as a "drag queen," praise for homosexual
marriage, and a declaration that the Ten Commandments are "immoral" (because
they "define women as property"). Spong's blasphemy and liberal theology
is well-known. The symposium was organized by PFLAG (Parents, Families
& Friends of Lesbians and Gays), and concluded at Foundry with an ecumenical
worship service involving many clergy. During the service, male couples
held each other and kissed in the pews. One worship leader called herself
a "lesbian Unitarian." Asked about the possibility of depicting Christ
as a "drag queen," the President's pastor said, "I don't condemn it. I
just don't know. I'll have to think about it some more." He pledged that
Foundry Church would be "welcoming to the homosexual community." What a
shame that our President attends such a church.
DC TALK ROCK GROUP RETURNS TO LIBERTY U.—Contemporary Christian music's most popular band, DC Talk, is taking the secular rock music industry by storm. Their music is a mix of soul, rap, hip-hop and rock. Jay Leno introduced them as one of the hottest music groups in the country (see 6/1 CC). They met while students at Liberty University, in the 1980s. In recent years they have taken their rock band with strobe lights and psychedelic smoke to Billy Graham crusades. Now, Dr. Jerry Falwell's 1/96 National Liberty Journal paper reports: "Hot on the heels of their Free At Last tour, the group is launching its Jesus Freak tour in the spring. Liberty students are already excited about welcoming the group back to LU for their second concert [April 5]." Falwell endorses it.
HUGH ROSS & PROGRESSIVE CREATIONISM—Dr. Hugh Ross, president of Reasons to Believe, Inc., is perhaps the most visible spokesman for Progressive Creationism. He teaches that the universe is around 17 billion years old, and that it began with a God-engineered "Big Bang." (BDM Notebook). But he is able to package his heretical beliefs in a way that appears biblically conservative and evangelical. Herein lies the danger. He has been featured by TBN, Focus on the Family, Wheaton, Moody, Trinity, Fuller, etc. He and/or his books have been endorsed by many new-evangelical leaders such as Bill Bright, Norman Geisler, R.C. Sproul, and James Dobson. Be warned, be wise, beware!
LIBERAL DENOMS APPROVE COCU UNITY PLAN—The Disciples of Christ in Oct. approved the Church of Christ Uniting (COCU) plan that could formally link nine denominations. The United Church of Christ adopted COCU in July, and the United Methodist Church and Presbyterian Church, USA will discuss the plan next year (12/11 Chr.Today). Some individual congregations and members are concerned that COCU could force their denomination to accept infant, non-immersion Baptism, change the role of laity in communion, or ordain active homosexuals as the UCC does. These significant ecumenical events portend the building of the one-world church of antichrist from which Bible-believers are to separate.
MINIRTH-MEIER, LUCI SWINDOLL, CHARISMATICS—The 1/96 Charisma advertises Women of Faith "Joyful Journey" events, sponsored by The Minirth-Meier New Life Clinics. Featured speakers are Lucy Swindoll (Charles Swindoll's sister), Patsy Clairmont, Barbara Johnson, and Marilyn Meberg. These are scheduled for Church of the Nazarene, First Assembly of God, First Baptist (Dallas), and Temple Baptist (Detroit) churches.
GOSPEL ENTERTAINMENT REPLACING CHURCH—Paul Crouch and his TBN shows continue to thrive and expand, with new entertainment centers being added all the time. The tragic effect of this is that for many people, this takes the place of a church. Thousands gather for these shows, which are a replica of Nashville country music, rock music and anything in between. They can enjoy a whole evening of music with the gospel entertainment stars and hear a message of health, wealth and happiness. No doubt the best part of all this is that there needs to be no dedication, no conviction, no service and no responsibility, other than digging into their purses and wallets. Crouch has no problem raising millions of dollars to expand his work of giving people an alternative to going to church. On occasion, they can even observe the Lord's Supper, an ordinance of the local church. This is just another result of what contemporary music leads to. (Gordon Sears). [How sad that the old-time great hymns are gradually fading away!]
BOOK ON EVOLUTION/CREATION—Dr. Jobe Martin has a new book, The Evolution of a Creationist. Two of his students at Baylor College of Dentistry got him started on the "creationist" track with the "appearance of age" argument for divine creation. Martin wrote this in 1994 as "A Layman's Guide to the Conflict Between the Bible and Evolutionary Theory." Order it from him at: 2212 Chisholm Trail, Rockwall, TX 75087, $10 (including shipping), 203 pages.
VINEYARD OUSTS 'TORONTO BLESSING' CHURCH—The 12/10 L.A. Times said: "In a split certain to send tremors throughout Pentecostal Christianity, a controversial Canadian congregation known for its ecstatic worship style that became known worldwide as the 'Toronto Blessing' has been ousted by its parent denomination." Pastor John Arnott of the Airport Vineyard Fellowship in Toronto said he was told last month by the Assn. of Vineyard Fellowships that his 1,000-member congregation had gone over the edge by encouraging worshipers to be so filled with the Holy Spirit that they would bark like dogs, swoon to the floor and laugh uncontrollably during services. This is a major break by "signs and wonders" John Wimber's Vineyard Fellowships with a main "laughing revival" church. And where does that leave the NAE whose 1995 speaker David Bryant said the Holy Spirit is in charge of the Toronto movement? (4/1 CC). Hank Hanegraaff warned that ministries like Arnott's represent something "extremely dangerous that could be a road to the occult." (See 11/1 CC).
HAS THE GARBC GONE NEW EVANGELICAL?—IBFNA Moderator Dr. L. Duane Brown says: "Yes, the roots of new evangelicalism are deeply planted within this organization and the fruit of the change is becoming evident. Its flirtation with the Conservative Baptist Association, its use of Wiersbe and Strauss as conference speakers, its unwillingness to expel agencies who clearly violate its constitution and policies, its call to Dick Christen (who at least was honest in stating his pragmatic views rejecting secondary separation), and its radical change in music standards all give evidence that the seeds of new evangelicalism are there and growing. [Get Dr. Brown's 6-page analysis from: OBF, 3865 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43214, 10 copies $3.50.]
VAN IMPE'S DOWNWARD SLIDE—Dr. M.H. Reynolds in the Oct-Dec Foundation said Dr. Jack Van Impe in the early days took a stand against apostate Protestants, Roman Catholics and others who preached a false gospel. But, since 1980, he has joined Billy Graham and other compromising evangelical leaders in giving aid and comfort to the enemies of Christ and the Gospel. Van Impe, in his 1984 book, used intemperate language and inexcusable exaggeration to ridicule fundamentalists who practiced Biblical separation. Reynolds quotes Van Impe from a 7/ 23/95 TV program as saying: "Till I die I will proclaim nothing but love for all my brothers and sisters in Christ, my Catholic brothers and sisters, Protestant..., Christian Reformed, Lutherans, I don't care what label you are..." Van Impe has almost totally capitulated to the one-world ecumenical movement, terming Pope John Paul II a "great man of God" and calling for acceptance of the one-world ecumenical dream headed up by the Papacy. (7-8/95 Fund. Digest). This is indeed a sad slide downward!
TILTON DIVORCING SECOND WIFE—Former televangelist Robert Tilton divorced his first wife in 1993. Now after 21 months of marriage to fellow evangelist Leigh Tilton, divorce papers were filed Nov. 20 to dissolve this one (12/11 Chr.News). Tilton was discredited by scandal in 1991 when ABC News accused him of discarding thousands of viewer prayer requests he was supposed to pray over. Tilton promotes a "prosperity gospel" and implies that God answers prayer if Tilton himself does the praying--and if he receives donations and names of friends to put on the mailing list (10/2 CT). He will continue to live in a church-owned $681,000 parsonage.
CATHOLIC GOSPEL IS A FALSE GOSPEL—The Roman Catholic gospel is not the same Gospel Paul and the Apostles preached. It is a different gospel which offers only the possibility of salvation through the sacraments of the Catholic Church. Yet many of today's Christian leaders are attempting to convince us that we can trust the Catholic Church to preach the true Gospel and lead those it evangelizes into freedom in Christ--that the Catholic Church is just another denomination of one universal Church. They are ignoring the very pronouncements of the Catholic Church itself that it alone is the universal church; there is no other shepherd over the one flock but the pope; there is no salvation in Christ apart from the sanctions of the Catholic Church. [Media Spotlight].
POPE GAVE CHARISMATICS HIS BLESSING—More than 200,000 Roman Catholics in Italy say they have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Their movement--viewed with suspicion by many priests--gained momentum last year when Pope John Paul II openly gave the charismatics his blessing (1/96 Charisma). Papal preacher Raniero Cantalamessa is an outspoken charismatic who was "baptized in the Holy Spirit" during a visit to the U.S. 20 years ago. Recent stories of weeping Madonnas and similar other-worldly occurrences have heightened interest in mystical experiences of all kinds in Italy. The number of full-time consulting magicians, an estimated 100,000, is three times the number of Catholic priests. Charismatics should fit right in.
ANDY STANLEY TO START NEW CHURCH—Andy Stanley resigned from the staff of First Church last August over concern about his father's leadership during a pending divorce. He will start a new church, Northpoint Community Church, in late 1996 and it will be affiliated with the SBC (1/96 Bapt.Chall.). Meanwhile, attorneys for Charles Stanley filed papers last month demanding a jury trial in the divorce case brought by his wife after last-minute mediation efforts failed (12/11 Chr. News). The case is set for late Jan., but may be as late as May. Stanley has mentioned childhood difficulties and how he took problems into his ministry and marriage.
ORAL ROBERTS & EVIL SPIRITS—Dave Hunt in the 9/95 Berean Call writes: "To what extent are church leaders involved with evil spirits? Oral Roberts claimed a seven-hour conversation with a 900-foot Jesus (strangely not mentioned in his new autobiography) who told him to build the City of Faith Medical Center in Tulsa. This 'Jesus' made false promises in exchange for money: there would be cures for cancer and other diseases if Oral's 'prayer partners' would each contribute $240. Simple, sincere people (who still believe him today) contributed more than $150 million needed to complete the 20 story complex. There was no miracle, no cure for cancer or anything else Oral's 'Jesus' promised. The 777-bed medical center never had more than 148 beds occupied and went bankrupt in spite of millions of dollars given by gullible Christians in response to further false promises. Had some Wall Street promoter, through similar false promises, bilked people out of a fraction of the money Oral got he would be in prison. Oral claims he was only obeying Jesus. Yet we know for certain that the 900-foot apparition was not Jesus, for He doesn't lie. Did Oral hallucinate? A seven-hour conversation with a 900-foot hallucination? Hardly! Only two possibilities remain: either Oral lied, or he was lied to by a deceiving spirit...."
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